How to take a cats temperature

Your cat will not like you taking her or particularly his temperature. The likelihood that you will need to do so with any frequency is remote and if that does occur is likely to be proceeded by demonstrations and instruction from your veterinarian. However, there is always the possibility that you may need to at some time and the following instructions are intended for the person who has not previously done so or received training.

While a trained and experienced veterinarian, veterinary nurse or technician will be easily able to take the temperature of most cats single-handed, for your first time I would strongly recommend getting someone to help you. Then while one person constrains and at least attempts to comfort the patient, the other can follow the procedure, hopefully without too much distraction.

You will need:

* a rectal thermometer, preferably plastic rather than glass and a digital is easier to use than a mercury

* a water-based lubricant such as KY jelly

* isopropyl alcohol or some other sterilizing agent

* warm water

* tissues

* a level surface at a comfortable height and room for both people

* a towel, possibly two

It will be best if the person the cat is most comfortable with holds the cat while the other takes the temperature. They should sit with the cat in their lap, petting and comforting the animal while the second person makes preparations.

If you are using a mercury thermometer and are unused to or rusty at reading it, practice beforehand until you are comfortable with it. You can change the mercury level by holding the monitoring end tightly between your fingers.

A towel should be laid on the level surface in a position such that when the cat is placed on it his or her rear will be presented to the second person.

The rectal thermometer should be washed in warm, but not hot, water if it is cold, to lessen your cat’s discomfort, and dried with tissues. Then sterilized by pouring alcohol over it. Wait two minutes before wiping with a clean tissue.

During those two minutes the cat holder should bring the cat over to place on the towel, continuing to pet and cosset him or her.

Cool the thermometer if need be by shaking it with a flicking motion until it displays a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius or below (about 97 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature taker should now smear lubricant on the monitoring end of the thermometer so that it is liberally covered.

The cat holder needs to lean over the cat

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